Western New York is on the brink of a beer revolution. Flying Bison has been cruising along for over 20 years making quality craft beer, but I think it was the opening of nano-brewery Community Beer Works that really started this ball rolling. CBW is made up of several dudes who really love beer and decided the time was right to open up a brewery. The support for their brewery was immediate and I remember having a difficult time finding a bar that hadn’t sold out of their beer. Since CBW opened, we’ve seen Woodcock Brothers Brewery and Hamburg Brewing Co open their doors on opposite ends of WNY, adding more craft beer options and finally constructing gorgeous breweries where you could sit and have a pint.
There are even more breweries coming and we’ll do our best to cover all of them this year. The newest brewery (and beer garden!) to hit the scene is Resurgence Brewing on Niagara Street in the West Side. They’ve only been open for a couple days and already they are packing their tasting room and beer garden with enthusiastic drinkers. With almost no lead time on their announcement, their second day in business they had well over 100 people in the brewery long into the night. That’s over 100 people drinking in a beer garden in an renovated factory building in the West Side, something I would have never been able to predict several years ago.
The brewery, beer garden and tasting room look great. It would be very easy to drive by the large brick factory building and not think twice. But once you walk inside the building, it’s very apparent that some serious time and money was spent. There are wooden tables everywhere, several picnic tables outside in the beer garden and several more long communal tables inside (inside the tables had La Nova menus and Trivial Pursuit cards). A large chalkboard has some fun artwork and the breweries small menu. I arrived to the brewery on a Sunday afternoon with my buddy DJ to see if the place lived up to the hype.
When we arrived the tasting room only had about a dozen people, but this was noon on a Sunday. By the time we left around 3pm, the indoor tasting room was almost full. The staff gave us a warm welcome, explained what was on draft and suggested that if we were hungry we could order food to be delivered to the brewery (hence the La Nova menus) or we could order from their small menu. They don’t have much to offer (I don’t think they have a kitchen on site) but you can get nachos, a pretzel, pork pies or a meat and cheese plate. We ordered a pretzel. We aren’t talking about homemade pretzels here, but this was liberally brushed with butter and was served with a tasty, strong mustard on the side.
The brewery currently has eight different types of beer on tap and most of them are on their first batch. For a pint (served in it’s proper glass) they are charging $4.50-$7 per glass which is a good price for a craft beer. You can try a flight of four selections for just $8 and they have wine available for people who go to a brewery but don’t like to drink beer. We managed to sample five of their eight beers and enjoyed most of them.
My buddy DJ really enjoyed the Kolsch, it was light and crispy and incredibly refreshing. This is the type of beer that you could drink several of on a hot day and feel OK. I ordered the Loganberry Wheat and I was pleasantly surprised. The beer wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting and I noticed a bit of sour in each sip too. The Chocolate Sponge Candy Stout was very light and very drinkable but I didn’t notice much chocolate or sponge candy flavor. My favorite beer of the evening was the session IPA which had everything I want in an IPA, a nice blend of bitter hops and citrus kick. This would be the beer that I’d definitely consider filling a growler or two of and bringing back home.
I can’t wait to go back to Resurgence Brewing and start bringing someone new with me each time. This is exactly the type of place that I’d want to show people who aren’t familiar with the exciting changes going on downtown.